Sunday, November 9, 2014

Toyota 86 cult sportscar


More than 800 fans of the Toyota 86 shared their passion for the cult sports car at the Festival of 86 held in Sydney at the weekend.

Enthusiasts flocked to the two-day club event from around Australia - by plane from as far away as Townsville while many drove their 86 from Queensland, Victoria and the ACT.

The car's global chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, said he believed the Festival of 86 - held to celebrate the second anniversary of the car's Australian launch - had attracted the biggest gathering for the 86 nameplate outside Japan.

"I am very excited to join Australian fans of the 86," he said. "You have made this car a great success with more than 12,000 sold in this country, which is the third highest in the world after Japan and the United States. It's amazing."

Tada-san was mobbed by the car's passionate fans, spending most of the two days signing autographs on everything from components, including the car's dash panel and engine cover, to model cars, T-shirts, owner manuals and posters.

Leading the tally of those who registered to attend were close to 400 owners of the Toyota 86, a further 50 owners of the AE86 - the spiritual predecessor of the modern car - and a similar number of Subaru BRZ owners.

High-profile guests included four-times Australian rally champion and 86 owner Neal Bates and drift champion Beau Yates whose 86 drift monster was in hot demand.

Many of the owners at the event have embraced the spirit of the 86 by personalising their cars - including several who have spent tens of thousands of dollars on special body wraps, wheels, suspension and other components.

Toyota Australia supported the event and added to the excitement by revealing it is planning a one-make motorsport series for the popular car, which has been Australia's best-selling sports car in 2013 and so far this year.

The company's executive director sales and marketing, Tony Cramb, said Toyota expected to make a formal announcement of the 86 motorsport competition in the first half of next year and start the series in 2016.

"The concept is a pro-am with amateur drivers from across Australia competing against selected professional drivers," Mr Cramb said.

Tada-san said the 86 was ideal as an entry into motorsport because it is compact, light-weight, affordable and, above all, fun to drive.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How far does your #foamroam ?


How far does your Foam roam? We know everyone loves our takeaway cups – now is the time to show your creativity and you could win free coffee for a year! Show us your innovative pic on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, tag Foam Coffee Bar and include #FoamRoam. Competition ends 31 December. See in store for T&C.

Foam Coffee Bar is the new kid on Oxford Street in Leederville Western Australia; Five Senses Coffee, delicious seasonal food, home baked treats and free WiFi, all served within a contemporary cafe experience.

You can find us on social –

Body painted women 'athletes' promote female sport

In another celebrated case of 'what were they thinking', Women's Health magazine held a much welcomed 'I Support Women in Sport' function at The Establishment on October 13, 2014 in Sydney.

Critics were quick to point out the confusion between the sensationalist tactics of employing body-painted glamour models and recognising the achievements of Australia's elite female athletes.

They posed as a swimmer, netballer and gymnast, while a fourth wore a design resembling Cathy Freeman's running suit from the Sydney Olympics 400m final.

Danielle Warby, a board director of the Australian Womensport and Recreation Association, called the models' inclusion "bizarre" in a report in Fairfax's The Daily Life.

"The sexualisation of women in sport is a massive issue," Ms Warby said.

"These women are not athletes, they are naked and I don't know why they are there."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

What if we performed animal tests on humans?

Animal tests performed on humans
In a dramatic demonstration of the cruelty humans inflict on animals in cosmetic testing, performance artist Jacqueline Traide, willingly submitted herself to a battery of painful experiments.

All of this was done in full public view in a shop window in Lush cosmetic store’s branch in Regent Street, London.

While Jacqueline's discomfort was temporary, it was genuine. She, however was free to go home afterward. The animals' fate is not so pleasant.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Australians in Vietnam: Hell, they're shooting at me!

Source: Everybody's Magazine 14 Sept. 1966

Tales of the fighting first

An Australian soldier relives his baptism of war in the jungles of Vietnam in this, the first of a series of portraits of Australian fighting men.

By Sgt. Rusty Smith as told to Tom King

BELOW us was the enemy. From the belly of the American helicopter the Vietnam jungle melted together in a vast green mat broken only by a web of rivers.

Off to either side of our helicopter other whirly birds hovered in formation like a great swarm of dragon flies. Somewhere beneath us the VC watched and waited.

Everybody's Magazine - Australian pop culture

Who remembers the salacious ACP magazine "Everybody's"?

Published out of the venerable Park Street address from 1961-68, it featured lurid stories with sexual overtones and followed the antics of pop idols and celebrities like its competitors Pix, People and Australasian Post.

It occasionally dealt with harder issues like the Vietnam War and film censorship.

Some of the bylines include: Maggie Makeig, Jon Collins, Bob Staines, Camilla Beach (London),  Alan Hunter (Hollywood), Bill Wilson (New York), Lee Patterson, Jim Fagan, Jim Oram, Tom King, Margaret Greenberg ans 'sports authority' Ray Mitchell.

Photographers were Lee Pearce, Neville Waller and Barry Cullen.

We found this fabulous 1966 issue in a jumble sale and just wanted to share some of the items with you.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

What a Croc! - famous headlines from the NT News



It isn't called the TOP END for nothing! With witty editing, masterful puns, searing social insight and - when all that fails - the use of the word 'clacker', the NT News has changed the face of the Australian front page. They're tops!


While a picture may tell a thousand words, they've proved that the combination of a photo and caption is really what delivers the message. And they don't need a thousand words - most of the time eight or less will do.

Now, for the first time ever, the news team who came up with these attention-grabbing gems have ventured into the archives to share some of their favourite front pages with the world. WHAT A CROC! is a collection of the funniest, craziest, wittiest, most memorable front pages from the NT NEWS. Do yourself a favour!

WHAT A CROC! will be released on 25 November.

Published by Hachette Australia in December 2014

Paperback $RRP19.99, ebook $11.99

Monday, September 15, 2014

Flaming horseman of Kazakhstan

KYRGYZSTAN, BISHKEK : Photo taken on September 10, 2014 shows a Kyrgyz stuntman performing during the first World Nomad Games in the Kyrchin (Semenovskoe) gorge, some 300 km from Bishkek. Teams of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Mongolia and Tajikistan take part in the games. AFP PHOTO / VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO

#KYRGYZSTAN #WorldNomadGames #Horse #Fire

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What am I bid? $38,115,000? SOLD!

The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta has become the most valuable car in history to be sold at auction when it realized $38,115,000 (£22,843,633 or €28,528,626) moments ago at Bonhams’ Quail Lodge Auction in Carmel, California.

Surpassing the current record of the most valuable car sold at auction, which was also set by Bonhams with the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 R F1 Racer that sold for $30-million at Bonhams’ Goodwood Festival of Speed Auction last year, the Ferrari GTO had been the subject of intense international interest.

Bidders from around the world were in attendance in the audience and on the telephones. The auction pavilion was filled to total capacity with overflow on the lawns watching the happenings live on the numerous television screens. After the start of a passionate bidding war that at times resembled a tennis match, complete with moments of silence interrupted by cheers, the audience erupted in applause when the fall of the gavel confirmed the final price.

Says Robert Brooks, Chairman of Bonhams, “It’s been a genuine privilege to represent this outstanding car and we are absolutely delighted with today’s results. We’ve always maintained that we would exceed the current world record and that the car would bring between $30-$40-million and today the GTO did just that.”

Demonstrating the confidence in the collector car market and the strength of the Ferrari brand, today’s new world record also reaffirms Bonhams’ position as one of the world’s leading auctioneers of rare and important motorcars.

Other cars from the very special Maranello Rosso Collection of ten important Ferraris also sold extremely well for a combined total $65,945,000 (£39,522,440 or €49,359,559).

Tomorrow promises to be another extraordinary day as Bonhams hosts the second day of its two-day auction at Quail Lodge. Another 107 exquisite automobiles of numerous British, European and American makes and models and every vintage will cross the auction block starting at 11:00am local time.  Complete details can be found at

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hollywood icon Lauren Bacall dead at 89

US actress and star of Hollywood's post-war golden age, Lauren Bacall, died Tuesday at her home in New York, her family said. The 89-year-old actress suffered a major stroke, family members said. Bacall starred opposite Humphrey Bogart in some of her most well-known films, including To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947) and Key Largo (1948). One of the most famous Hollywood couples of the time, Bogart and Bacall had two children and were married for 11 years until his death in 1957. "With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall," the Bogart Estate said on Twitter. The actress known for her sultry appeal and low, husky voice appeared in over 70 movies spanning several decades, as well as numerous stage appearances.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - trailer

Release: 26 March 2015

Directed by: John Madden

Cast: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Diana Hardcastle, Tamsin Greig, Tina Desai, Lillete Dubey with David Strathairn and Richard Gere

Genre: Comedy / Drama

Synopsis: THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL is the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel), and it’s making more claims on his time than he has available, considering his imminent marriage to the love of his life, Sunaina (Tena Desae). Sonny has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy – posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig). Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce, and are wondering where their regular dates for Chilla pancakes will lead, while Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship, as Madge (Celia Imrie) juggles two eligible and very wealthy suitors. Perhaps the only one who may know the answers is newly installed co-manager of the hotel, Muriel (Maggie Smith), the keeper of everyone's secrets. As the demands of a traditional Indian wedding threaten to engulf them all, an unexpected way forward presents itself

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Release: 1 January 2015
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Cast: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Paul, John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley
Genre: Action/Adventure

From acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Prometheus) comes the epic adventure “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” the story of one man’s daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses (Christian Bale) as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton), setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

Robin Williams Dead

Sheriff: Robin Williams dead of apparent suicide

Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide on Monday 11 August 2014 in his Tiburon home, near San Francisco, according to the Marin County Sheriff's Office.The news brought an outpouring of mourning - from his family, Hollywood friends and even the White House. Susan Schneider, Williams' wife, asked in a statement for her husband to be remembered by "the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions." "This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings," she said. "I am utterly heartbroken."

Monday, August 4, 2014

This is the craziest thing you will see today. I guarantee.

Click the like button and add a dose of drama to your day (yes, I know it's been on the Internet for a while, but you can't afford to miss this - or see it again)

The true story of Australia's SAS and the soldier who was there from the start

Clint Palmer has spent much of his adult life in the SAS and has fought in this elite military unit as it developed from its fledgling beginnings into the highly trained, specialised fighting force it is today. He is an insider with the long view and this is his unique story of life in the SAS. As a bush kid in the Northern Territory of Australia, growing up in a one dog mining town, Palmer s best friends were mostly Aboriginal kids, and the outside world barely existed. But he always had one driving ambition - the army. Enduring the toughest of tough training, Palmer soon demonstrated his fighting capabilities and became part of the Australian SAS. So began almost thirty years of service. We go with him to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he is at the heart of some of the worst fighting in Operation Anaconda in the Shahi-Kot Valley in 2002. He lets us in on what it s like to have made well over a thousand parachute jumps, many of them in terrible conditions and into treacherous terrain which may have ended not just his career but his life. And he shares with us how this adrenalin fuelled world has become a lifelong commitment. Palmer is the man who knows the Regiment almost better than anyone, so SAS INSIDER really is the inside story of the SAS - and a gripping account of one Australian soldier s life at the sharp end.

Other details
  • ISBN: 9780733629594
  • Publication date: 12 Aug 2014
  • Page count: 368

Survival, heroism, courage and mateship in Ambon, a place of nightmares.

Author: Roger Maynard

In February 1942 the Indonesian island of Ambon fell to the might of the advancing Japanese war machine. Key among the captured Allied forces was a unit of 1150 Australian soldiers known as Gull Force, who had been tasked to defend the island. In one of the most monstrous acts of cruelty of the Second World War, some 300 of the Australian troops held captive were massacred. But it was only the start of a catalogue of horror that would see the men incarcerated, starved and brutalised for the next three and a half years. Sacrificed in pursuit of a military strategy doomed to failure, they endured sickness, bloodshed and death. And such was the trauma that officers and men turned against each other as discipline and morale broke down. Yet their epic struggle also produced heroic acts of kindness and bravery. Just over 300 Australian soldiers lived to tell the tale of those grim days behind barbed wire. In AMBON they speak of not just the horrors, but of the courage, endurance and mateship that got them through. The story of AMBON is one of both the depravity and the triumph of the human spirit. It is also one that's not been widely told. Until now.

Other details ISBN: 9780733630637 Publication date: 29 Jul 2014 Page count: 352

About the author: Roger Maynard is a former BBC reporter and correspondent for The Times, The Independent and CNBC. A past president of the Foreign Correspondents' Association of Australia, he has been a journalist for nearly five decades. He is the author of six books of true crime and military history. For more information visit


This book is a compelling account of a little-known wartime drama played out on the Indonesian island of Ambon involving a unit called Gull Force, a body of 1150 men drawn largely from the 2/21st Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force. By the war’s end barely 300 of these men would be alive to tell the tale. The death rate on Ambon was a staggering 77 per cent of all those held in captivity.

While AMBON is essentially about one of the Second World War’s most brutal Prisoner of War camps, it is also a tale of mateship, heroism and the triumph of the human spirit.

Controversially AMBON reveals what happened when Allied officers and men turned against each other. Abandoned on Ambon for the rest of the war, the men of the 2/21st Battalion and sundry smaller units soon fell into a pitiful cycle of forced labour, boredom and plummeting morale. As a desperate and last-ditch effort to hold total chaos at bay, officers built ‘The Cage’, a prison within a prison to incarcerate hungry POWs accused of stealing food and other minor misdemeanours. This home-grown discipline meted out by Allied officers on their own men is one of the most shocking aspects of the Ambon POW experience.

The cage gouged a wound that even after 70 years refuses to heal and epitomises what happens when officers and men turn against each other.

AMBON also details one of the Second World War’s most monstrous acts of cruelty: the massacre of some 300 Australians and Dutch on the island in February 1942. Carried out as retribution for the sinking of a minesweeper in the Bay of Ambon during the opening days of the Japanese invasion, it was an orgy of bloodshed.

‘Death came swiftly for the Australians who were captured at the air base on the island of Ambon in the old Dutch East Indies during the Second World War. One by one their names were called, their hands tied and they were led out of the barracks to meet their fate. Warrant officer Shiego Hamanishi, who helped to oversee the first of the executions, described how ‘death was almost instantaneous. As soon as one execution was over, another followed’.
– from AMBON by Roger Maynard

Ambon is a tragedy which almost certainly could have been avoided had the allied military top brass been of sounder judgment. Instead they pursued a suicidal strategy which involved the sacrifice of Gull Force and its inevitable capitulation. Incredibly, Ambon was even bombed by American planes on a number of occasions when forces knew that Allied POWs were held there. Who was responsible for such a military debacle and could it have been avoided?

Amazingly some prisoners managed to escape the Ambon camp and island-hopped their way back to Australia. How they did it is a story in itself. Others were transferred to the Chinese island of Hainan where some escaped and joined Chinese guerrillas. There is speculation that a few may even have survived after the war, hiding themselves in the jungle. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Maze Runner - Movie Trailer

Release: 18 September 2014
Directed by: Wes Ball
Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Aml Ameen
Genre:  Thriller
Synopsis: Based on the best-selling young adult thriller, THE MAZE RUNNER is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where Thomas is deposited in a community of young men after his memory is erased. After learning they’re all trapped in a maze, Thomas joins forces with fellow “runners” to not only escape the maze, but solve its riddle and reveal the chilling secret of who brought them there, and why.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ford Australia's final Falcon. Farewell to an icon.

“The challenge was delivering a powerful, yet premium look for the 2014 car,” says Nina Nourian, exterior design manager for the new Falcon.

“I’m proud of the fact that the new Falcon XR builds on an already distinctive design and yet delivers a whole new personality.”

What do you think

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

For sale: 1953 Ferrari 250 Mille Miglia Berlinetta. Bids?

One sale, ten Ferraris, decades of history - and the epitome of Italian style. Bonhams is delighted to announce the ten most desirable Maranello Rosso Collection Ferraris, due to make their auction debut on 15th August at Quail Lodge, California.
Robert Brooks, Bonhams Co-Chairman, said: "At Bonhams, we've had the privilege to present our clients with some very special motor cars and collections, but this is without doubt our most astounding collection, for sale at Quail Lodge this August.
"Fresh from the halls of the Maranello Rosso Museum we offer our select cross-section of ten cars from this renowned, long-established family of Ferrari's finest, spanning the marque's entire great classic period from the early 1950s to the early 1980s. The selection can be appreciated across the broad spectrum of Ferrari fans, and we're delighted to have the opportunity to offer them - It's set to be a very exciting sale for Bonhams – and for the entire Collector Car market."

The ten entries from the Maranello Rosso Collection are:
  1. 1953 Ferrari 250 MM Berlinetta
  2. 1969 Ferrari Dino 206 GT Coupe
  3. 1968 Ferrari 365 GTC Coupe
  4. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta
  5. 1978 Ferrari 312 T3 Formula 1 Grand Prix single-seater
  6. 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series 1 Pininfarina Cabriolet
  7. 1968 Ferrari Dino 166/246T Formula 2/Tasman single-seater
  8. 1981 Ferrari 512 BB/LM Endurance Racing Coupe
  9. 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona uprated to Competition Specification
  10. 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Speciale Aerodinamica
The 1953 Ferrari 250 Mille Miglia Berlinetta is a particular sale highlight. Tailor-made to compete in frontline long-distance races, in May 1954, Road & Track magazine tested future World Champion Phil Hill's own sister Ferrari 250MM and recorded 0-60 mph acceleration in just 5.1 seconds, 0-100mph in 13.7. "Never before have I accelerated so rapidly, traveled so fast, or decelerated so suddenly," wrote the magazine's editor.

1953 Mille Miglia
An outstanding example of Ferrari's first 3-litre V12-engine Gran Turismo, it launched the line that later extended over the 1950s, giving us the 250 Tour de France, the 250 GT Short-Wheelbase, and 250 GTO models.
The cars' racing history began appropriately in California in 1953, with American enthusiast and racer, Bill Devin.
He made his public debut in the new Ferrari at the Sports Car Club of America San Francisco Region's 3rd Annual Members' Madera race meeting in September that year. He promptly finished third in the novice event before handing the car over to fast-rising Santa Monica star driver Phil Hill, who won the main event there that day. 
Bill Devin subsequently appeared with this Ferrari 250MM – finished in the American white-and-blue racing livery it wears today – at Stead Air Force Base in October, 1953, while his brother Gene Devin drove it at March AFB that November.  In June 1954 the car was sold to Ken Heavlin, who ran a luxury car garage at Grosse Point, Michigan.
After Devin's ownership, the car changed hands several times, eventually in 1986 returning to its native Italy, joining the collection of Count Vittorio Zanon di Valgiurata. 
He co-drove the car in that year's Mille Miglia Storica event and in 1987 it again attacked the daunting thousand-mile course from Brescia to Pescara, across to Rome, and then back to Brescia via Florence and Bologna.
Count Zanon sold it then to Rudi Pas/Classic Car Associates in Holland, who found a Japanese buyer in a Mr. Shimada. However, the car was quickly returned to Pas and it was in the winter of 1987-88 that this Ferrari – with its early-career Phil Hill Californian history – was acquired for the Maranello Rosso Collection.
Each of the Ferraris offered in Bonhams Quail Lodge sale has a rich and varied history, offering an intriguing showcase of the evolution of the marque from the 1950s to 1980s.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Internet UFO Video - Is it fake or real?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Actor James Garner dead at 86

James Garner in the 1966 John Frankenheimer film, Grand Prix
Angeles: Legendary Hollywood actor James Garner, known for his roles in movies like `The Rockford Files` and `The Notebook`, is dead. He was 86.

Garner died Saturday, but the cause of his death is not known yet, suggest reports.

The law enforcement sources said an ambulance was dispatched to the actor`s home here around 8 p.m. Saturday evening and he was dead when they arrived on scene.

Garner was one of the first actors to amass success in both television and film and he starred in a lot of classics.

Known for the comedy series `Maverick`, in which he played Bret Maverick from 1957-1960, the actor even acted in the 1994 big screen version of `Maverick`, which starred Mel Gibson in the lead role.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

First all-new Harley Davidson in 14 years - and it's liquid cooled

Features new liquid-cooled Revolution X Engine and Dark Custom styling

Harley-Davidson is continuing its monumental ride, which began with the introduction of Project RUSHMORE in September, by revealing a new Dark Custom™ motorcycle designed for young urban riders around the world.

The Harley-Davidson Street™ 500 motorcycle – the first all-new platform from Harley-Davidson in 14 years – is built for urban environments with all-new liquid-cooled Revolution X™ powertrains, nimble agility and the sound and look that lets everyone know they are genuine Harley-Davidson. The Harley-Davidson Street™ 500 will be rolling into Australia dealerships starting in 2015.

“This is the newest motorcycle to join our Dark Custom line-up, which helped make us the number-one selling brand to young adults in the U.S. for the past five years,” said Matt Levatich, President and Chief Operating Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “The Street 500 was designed with thousands of hours of input from young adults in cities around the world. This input guided both the attitude and capabilities of these motorcycles. They are proof that being customer-led continues to be a core driver of our product development process.”

Urban, Authentic Harley-Davidson

The Street 500 from Harley-Davidson is built for an urban environment. The motorcycle features the new, Revolution X engine, designed to match the demands of stop-and-go traffic with nimble agility, while delivering instant throttle response to escape city gridlock.

The Revolution X engine will be housed in a new, narrow and lean chassis built for agility, with a super-low seat height, new suspension and broad handlebar sweep that provides confidence and manoeuvrability when managing tight turns and fast moves. The signature Dark Custom motorcycle features a premium, minimalist style that serves as a blank canvas for riders to customize.

“This new bike is leaner, yet still has a mean streak – it’s the real deal, made of real steel.” said Mark-Hans Richer, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “It’s designed to handle the abuses of urban environments and provide authentic opportunities to customize.”

More information is available at Video of the Harley-Davidson Street platform reveal in Milan, including an in-depth walk-through of the motorcycles, details on their design, and a Q&A with Mark-Hans Richer will be available at

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

911 Martini outfit for Le Mans comeback by Porsche

Stuttgart. Porsche Exclusive is issuing the "Martini Racing Edition" of the 911 Carrera S to coincide with this year’s 24 hours of Le Mans race. Marking the return of Porsche to endurance motorsport is a limited edition 911 in traditional Martini racing design, which reflects the styling of Porsche race cars of the 1970s. The 911 Carrera S pays tribute to the successes of the legendary Porsche Le Mans race cars such as the 917 and the 935 “Moby Dick”. The special edition is limited to 80 units and will be exclusively sold in select markets of Europe, in China, Japan and in Latin America. For select 911 models, Porsche Tequipment will be selling the exclusive Martini decal set as an aftermarket kit in Germany and other markets.

The "Martini Racing Edition" of the 911 Carrera S is available in the monochrome body colours white and black. The boot lid, roof section, rear wing and vehicle's sides are accentuated by the "Martini Racing Design" decor set with the characteristic blue-red Martini colour pattern. The special front apron of the Aerokit Cup has an optimised spoiler lip which gives the vehicle an even more distinctive appearance. The aerodynamic counterpart is the fixed rear spoiler of the Aerokit Cup, which rounds out the car's sporty look.

When entering the car, the stainless steel door sill panels with the red illuminated "911 Carrera S – Martini Racing Edition" badge already identify this car as an exclusive limited edition. The interior package includes dashboard accents in body colour with the "Martini Racing Edition" badge. The Martini Porsche also has a sport design steering wheel and the Sport Chrono package as standard. The extensive standard equipment is complemented by such features as Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with navigation module, a Bose sound system, tachometer with black gauge dial and all-electric sport seats in black leather.

The heart that beats in the Martini Porsche is a 3.8-litre flat six-cylinder engine with 400 hp. This 911 matches the level of dynamic performance of the regular 911 Carrera S: The car accelerates to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds with a PDK gearbox and activated Sport Plus button. Its combined fuel consumption, on the other hand, is familiarly moderate at 8.7 litres per 100 km (CO2 emissions: 202 g/km).

Starting in June 2014, the Porsche 911 Carrera S “Martini Racing Edition” will launch in the European markets of Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Finland and Great Britain. Starting in August 2014, the special edition will also be available in China, and from October 2014 in Japan and in Latin America.

911 Carrera S Martini Racing: Fuel consumption: urban 12.1 l/100 km; extra-urban 6.7l/100 km; combined 8.7l/100 km; CO2 emissions 202 g/km; efficiency class: G**

Monday, June 9, 2014

World's longest burning lightbulb

IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says that one of the world's strangest tourist attractions is a simple electric light bulb in a California fire station – because it was first switched on in June 1901, and is still burning today, nearly 113 years later.

Firemen at the Livermore Fire Department's Station 6 on the southern edge of the San Francisco Bay area welcome visitors to view and photograph the 24hr "night light," even having a sign saying that if the front door is closed, to go around the back and bang on the door there to get their attention.

And the local City Council has installed CCTV to monitor the light, that's been recognised by the Guinness Book of Records, Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not and even in a citation from the President of the USA as the world's oldest-known working light bulb.

The bulb was installed in the original Livermore Fire Hose Cart-house in 1901, briefly switched off when that station moved to another site in 1903, and turned off for a week during renovations in 1937. It was moved to its current location in 1976 and has only been off once since – when power to the station failed for 9.5hrs in May last year.

Its authenticity has been verified from newspaper records and by engineers from the General Electric Company.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Roger Moore’s ‘Persuaders’ Aston Martin DBS sets world record for DBS sold at auction

In its 15th year Bonhams Aston Martin Works sale totals at £8.7 million

Elsewhere 'Barn Find Corner' sells out, and a project car sells at four times its estimate totaling £393,500

In its 15th year, Bonhams annual auction at the Aston Martin Works totaled £8.7 million, selling over one hundred lots of collectable automobilia alongside almost 50 motor cars, the largest number Bonhams have ever had at the Aston Martin sale.

The top lot, a very rare DB6 Mark 2 Volante sold at £757,500. An unsurprisingly popular model from the marque, the Volante sold is one of only 21 examples built.

The famed 1970 Aston Martin DBS which starred in the hit British television series 'The Persuaders!' held pride of place at the front of the auction hall, attracting immense interest from fans of the show and Aston Martin enthusiasts alike, selling at £533,500 and setting a new world record for an Aston Martin DBS sold at auction.
Roger Moore in 'The Persuaders!'

The famed DBS was specially modified specifically for its role in 'The Persuaders!', in which it featured prominently in almost all of the show's 24 episodes. Co-starring Roger Moore and Hollywood legend Tony Curtis, the car was arguably the third 'star' of the hit series, a motoring icon from the 70s.

Meanwhile, lot 216, the factory Vantage prototype 'DP217' 1963 Aston Martin DB5 project exceeded all expectations. Selling for £393,500 – over four times its highest estimate – as the gavel came down the closing bid was met with applause from the room.

James Knight, Bonhams Group Motoring Director, said: "We've had glorious weather, excellent hospitality, and some truly stunning motorcars starring in today's auction.

"The sale has been one of surprise and delight. From selling a DB5 Sports Saloon project at four times its estimate, to setting world records with 'star' car, 'The Persuaders!' Aston Martin DBS.

"As ever, in its 15th year the Aston Martin Works sale has been truly tremendous. After 15 years of running this sale we still continue to enjoy our very special partnership with Aston Martin, working collectively to deliver the right results for the brand and our clients."

Paul Spires, General Sales Manager at Aston Martin Works, said: "The Bonhams auction weekend has once again more than lived up to expectations. The uniquely sociable 'garden party' atmosphere certainly seems to have helped some of the 2,500 or so people who joined us here at Newport Pagnell take the plunge.

"With many exceptional sports cars sold, and bids coming in from right around the world, it's clear that Bonhams' Aston Martin Sale is, more than ever, a key fixture of the classic car world."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Conchita Wurst - Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest

Conchita Wurst of Austria wins the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen.Wurst's onstage neatly-bearded drag queen persona was created by 25-year-old-singer Thomas Neuwirth and attracted widespread praise and predictably homophobic criticism following her win.

Friday, May 9, 2014

For sale: Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’ Coupe - as driven by Stirling Moss

At its inaugural Mercedes-Benz Sale on 12 July at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, Bonhams is to offer at auction one of the earliest surviving and most significant of all Mercedes-Benz 300SL 'Gullwing' Coupes. 
The 'Gullwing' being offered is chassis serial '4500019', whose eventful past includes being the model-launch vehicle displayed by Daimler-Benz at the 1954 Paris Salon de l'Automobile exhibition; the 1955 London Motor Show car displayed at Olympia; and the 1955 'Autocar' magazine road-test car. 
Even more significantly, Stirling Moss (Knighted in 2000 for services to Motor Sport) and his factory team navigator – 'Motor Sport' magazine journalist and former World Champion Motorcycle Sidecar racing passenger, Denis Jenkinson – used this car during course reconnaissance preceding their stupendous victory in the 1955 1,000-mile Mille Miglia round-Italy road race – one of the most illustrious and legendary drives in all motor sporting history.
World-renowned in period – and much coveted by collectors today – the 3-litre 6-cylinder fuel-injected 300SL 'Gullwing' Coupe was, from 1954-57, the world's fastest production supercar.
When Mercedes-Benz set out to add the Sports Car World Championship to its Formula 1 World title successes in 1955, the opening race of the series was the astounding Mille Miglia – one lap of a thousand-mile public road course starting and finishing in the northern city of Brescia.
On May 1, 1955, the new Mercedes-Benz team of open-cockpit 300SLR sports-prototype cars simply destroyed their Ferrari and Maserati opposition to dominate the Mille Miglia, scoring an historic 1-2 triumph, with Stirling Moss/Denis Jenkinson winning from reigning Formula 1 World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio. Moss credited much of his extraordinary victory to navigator 'Jenks' who, for the entire 1,000 miles, had been able to warn Stirling "…of corners that could kill us, and of opportunities to stay flat-out and so save time".
Their knowledge had been accumulated from painstaking reconnaissance runs around the 1,000-mile course. Mercedes-Benz 300SL 'Gullwing' Coupe '4500019' now to be offered by Bonhams is the car used by Moss/Jenkinson during this reconnaissance period. 
On April 1 1955 they drove it out of Brescia – where the Mille Miglia would start a month later – in company with young German team-mate Hans Herrmann in the first of the full-race 300SLR open-cockpit cars.  Jenks's diary for the day records: "Left Brescia 6.30am in 300SL – Herrmann in 300SLR. Averaging 78mph – crash with Army lorry at Forli. All day sorting things out with M-B technicians. Home in 220A" – Mercedes saloon car – "…by 1 am."
On Monday April 18 the duo again left Brescia at "7am in SL and drove to Florence, 1500kilometres. Terrific fun helping driving on blind corners…Fangio passed in Verona – Herrmann later in SLRs…".  Next day "…Left 9am and another good drive back to Brescia". On the 20th Moss/Jenkinson got their chance in the open SLR only for its crankshaft to break at Rimini, while "Fangio had broken SL…".
Jenks's diary entry for May 1, 1955, is astonishingly succinct.  It simply reads: "Up at 6am for race day. WE WON. Party in evening with Mercedes-Benz.Bed at 1am".  That was, for the team and for its all-British crew, mission accomplished.
Mercedes-Benz 300SL 'Gullwing' Coupe '4500019' was subsequently sold by Mercedes-Benz GB to HW Motors Ltd of New Zealand Avenue, Walton-on-Thames (themselves manufacturers of the famous HWM racing cars), then to enthusiast private owner Peter Woozley. He raced the car at club level and set fastest lap in finishing second in the Stanley Sears Trophy race at Snetterton in 1959.  The car is offered today fully restored to original 1954-55 specification and is as exhibited in the world-renowned Pebble Beach Concours, California, in 2011.
James Knight, Group Motoring Director at Bonhams, commented, "This is arguably the most historic 300SL Gullwing extant and is the latest consignment to the auction at the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart. We have a few spaces left, and those final entries are invited for what promises to be a very memorable sale".
The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart maps the entire history of the world's oldest car manufacturer with a unique variety of exhibits. A total of 1500 exhibits, including 160 vehicles, can be seen on an area of 16,500 square metres.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Stallion makes himself at home

Images: Carsten Rehder

When Hurricane Xaver hit northern Germany last December, physician Stephanie Arndt decided to give some safe shelter to a 3-year-old Arabian horse, named Nasar, in her own house. As the storm passed, the horse had already made itself at home, now Nasar lives indoors since then.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

One World Trade Center to open in 2014

Inline images 1

More than a decade after the September 11 attacks to the World Trade Center twin towers in New York, the primary building of the new World Trade Center complex "One World Trade Center" (1WTC) is set to be open in early 2014. The 104-story building at the northwest corner of the 16-acre trade center site is topped by a spire that reaches a symbolic height of 1,776 feet (541 m) in reference to the year of the United States Declaration of Independence.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Oscar-winning actor Maximilian Schell dead at 83

Actor, filmmaker, opera director - Maximilian Schell, the first German-speaking actor ever to receive the Academy Award, died overnight in a hospital in Innsbruck after "a sudden and severe illness," his agent Patricia Baumbauer said Saturday. He was 83.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Star and AACTA celebrate Australian talent

Baz Luhrmann and creative partner Catherine Martin

Capping off a week of events at The Star celebrating Australian talent and innovation, celebrities of the big and small screen descended on The Star Sydney yesterday, 30 January 2014, for the 3rd Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards Ceremony.

The lobby of The Darling Hotel welcomed guests for a pre-red carpet event, followed by a media frenzied red carpet leading to The Star Event Centre, atop The Star. The globally broadcast awards night for 1,500 guests recognised Jacki Weaver who was presented the AACTA Raymond Longford Award for her service to the Australian industry and Baz Luhrmann for the multitude of opportunities that creating his vision for The Great Gatsby provided Australians.

Other notable attendees included Cate Blanchett, Gracie Otto, Geoffrey Rush, Sam Worthington and Rachel Griffiths.

Illustrating the diversity of event spaces throughout The Star, Sky Terrace - Sydney’s newest rooftop bar hosted guests for the after party, followed by Marquee nightclub where many of the celebrity guests danced the night away.

Jacki Weaver and Geoffrey Rush attended the
AACTA Luncheon (pictured below) on
Tuesday 28 January, and the Awards Ceremony
30 January 2014, both in The Star Event Centre.
The week of events commenced with the AACTAs luncheon on Tuesday, 28 January 2014, with a red carpet arrival for 700 guests at The Star Event Centre, recognising practitioners working across television, documentary, short fiction film, short animation and feature film categories.

Damian Trewella, CEO of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) commented on the flawless production and staging of last night’s awards.

“Staging an awards night such as ours is both complex and challenging, with our production needing to integrate television broadcast, a live audience and a myriad of presenters, guests and media.

"The outcome of our production must be at a high level as it is a recognition of achievement in film and television.

"Working in partnership with our broadcast team, The Star’s team showcased their professionalism through their creative use of the multitude of event spaces across The Star to suit our many varied needs.

"The staging of the AACTA Awards over the past two years at The Star have set ever higher benchmarks for the industry thanks to the quality of the venue, its incredible technical capability and staff that simply make things happen.”

Cate Blanchett walking the red carpet to
The Star Event Centre for the Awards Ceremony.
Solidifying The Star as a world class event and entertainment precinct, The Star will be the official destination partner and host venue for the AACTAs for another four years, ensuring Australia’s most prestigious screen awards stay in Sydney.

Geoff Parmenter, General Manager Communications and Corporate Affairs, The Star, expresses his delight to support this event for a further four years.

“Sydney is rightfully proud of its status as home to Australia’s vibrant creative industries and many of the country’s leading cultural organisations. You’ll see The Star looking to really highlight and showcase its role in supporting and celebrating all things that are great in Sydney. We are therefore delighted to be supporting the 3rd AACTA Awards as Destination Partner and official host venue for the next four years.”

The Darling Hotel and Astral Towers and Residences provided a luxurious base for guests to stay, ensuring that national and international attendees could be accommodated at the same location as the events right across the week.

To enquire about the multiple event spaces throughout The Star, please contact The Star Sales Team on +61 2 9657 8568 or


For more information or enquiries, visit or call 1800 700 700.

The AACTA afterparty took place at Sydney's newest rooftop bar, Sky Terrace at The Star.

Jonty Rhodes to write for Cricket Lifestyle

Jonty Rhodes is extending his talents from cricket player and coach, surfer and ambassador for South African Tourism in India, as well as an experienced corporate speaker, to include travel and lifestyle writer and blogger.

Rhodes, who was in London this month to attend the World Travel Market for meetings with Five Star PR, an Australian company of which he is on the advisory board, was also in town to promote his involvement with soon to be launched website and social media forum 'Cricket Lifestyle'.

As a true Indiaphile, Rhodes is keen to share his knowledge of the Indian culture with readers of Cricket Lifestyle.

"I'm not one to stay in my hotel. It's great to experience every facet of India from skiing helicopter skiing down the remote and uncrowded powder slopes of Gulmarg, Kashmir, through to surfing in Goa and riding a Royal Enfield 500cc into the wide open spaces around Rajasthan! I'm looking forward to visiting as much of India as possible and writing about my experiences, including recommending restaurants, hotels and activities with an adventurous edge - including myth-busting the dangers of eating street food "

An experienced traveller, Rhodes will also go global in terms of his topic areas yet as he spends almost four months a year in India, and just under six months a year in South Africa, he is looking forward to covering as many as possible of the incredible experiences that India offers to travelers as well as the awesome experiences of his home country.

Those who subscribe to cricketlifestyle before Christmas have the opportunity to win a Michael Clarke signed Spartan bat visit

Background information on Cricket Lifestyle

What is cricket lifestyle?

Cricket Lifestyle is the only website of its kind talking about cricket and lifestyle. Whilst we cover opinions about what is happening on the field, and cricketing news, we also cover where international cricketers travel, stay, eat, and drink.

Cricket lifestyle contributors include Jonty Rhodes, former South African cricketer and IPL Mumbai Indians' fielding coach; Ben Groundwater, freelance writer; Gareth Eden-Styche, author of Balls to It All; Tim the Yowie Man, Canberra columnist; Bev Hadgraft, author and former UK editor; and Max Anderson, author and former deputy editor Travel The Sunday Times UK.

Spartan Sports are supporting cricket lifestyle with giveaways of bats signed by Michael Clarke and access to their players of Michael Clarke, Chris Gayle, Matt Prior, Mitchell Johnson, Darren Bravo and Slazenger's Steve Smith.

Who cares about cricket?

Cricket is followed by more than half the population of the world. It is almost a religion in countries such as India, Australia, UK, New Zealand, South Africa. The International Cricket Council (ICC), which has its headquarters in Dubai, has 104 members: 10 Full Members that play official Test matches, 34 Associate Members, and 60 Affiliate Members.

Do cricket fans travel?

Yes and they travel a long way from UK to New Zealand, from Australia to the West Indies. This is a market who love cricket and lifestyle. They travel in groups, they travel with family, they travel with friends, they travel.

Destinations are realising what a great market the cricket fan is.

This year, Tourism New Zealand's Chief Executive Kevin Bowler, said: "In March (2013), we saw 15.8% growth out of the UK, helped by having the Barmy Army in town to watch the English cricket team. This reinforces the benefits that big sporting events offer New Zealand, and how important it is for us to maximise the value we can gain from hosting the Cricket World Cup."

Travel brands are innovative in leveraging the cricket fever in India. They have taken all possible steps to reap the most benefit from the 50-day IPL festival. For example, MakeMyTrip, India's biggest OTA has signed up as the principal sponsor for Sunrises Hyderabad, one of the nine IPL teams.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Golf Social Network

All Square® Mobile App Drives New Golf Social Network

Beta launch of iPhone app establishes global platform for golfers

(Palo Alto, CA – January 22, 2014) All Square®, a new social network for golfers, has launched a mobile app enabling golfers to share and compare their golf experiences worldwide.

The iPhone app, which is free to download from the App Store, allows golfers to connect with friends, upload photos and videos, post comments and receive instant notifications, all recorded on a personal timeline.

The beta launch of the iOS app – at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, January 22-24, 2014 – establishes a new global platform for golfers.

Patrick Rahme, Co-Founder and CEO of All Square said, "All Square connects the power of people's love for golf on one free, accessible and engaging social media platform designed exclusively for golfers.

"Golfers love talking about the courses they've played, the latest equipment they've purchased and swing tips – and the All Square app enables them to share all of these things instantly with friends, on and off the course, wherever they are in the world."

All Square was founded by Patrick Rahme, age 26, and business partner Arthur de Rivoire, 25, after they met at the HEC University of Lausanne, Switzerland, while studying economics and business administration. Rahme, who also studied at the London School of Economics, and de Rivoire are both elite amateur golfers and regularly represent the national teams of Luxembourg and Switzerland respectively.

All Square was recently showcased at the 'Plug and Play Tech Center' in Silicon Valley, California, ahead of the app's launch.  The business accelerator specializes in growing tech startups and only select international ventures are invited to join the program, which has previously invested in and supported companies such as Google, PayPal and Dropbox.

All Square is also working closely with global golf course management company Troon® Golf on its international development and has been selected by KPMG, the global professional services firm, to join its K-Start program for entrepreneurs.

"We are currently testing different features within the app to find out which golfers find most appealing," continued Patrick Rahme. "One such feature is 'Rate my Swing' where you can instantly upload a video of your swing from your iPhone and have your friends comment and rate it.

"The directory of golf courses on the app, which complements the global interactive course map we have on the website, is also something we believe golfers will enjoy. All Square is designed to be a global platform for course reviews and ranking."  

The launch of the app will be supported by advertising on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels.

For more information, visit: To download the app, visit the App Store.

To contact Patrick Rahme during the PGA Merchandise Show, Orlando, January 22-24, e-mail:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Formula E - fully electric race car makes puiblic debut in Las Vegas

Formula E’s new fully-electric race car, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, made its first ever public demonstration today (6, January), entertaining crowds with a high-speed display around the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Capable of speeds in excess of 150mph, the zero emission single-seater was driven by former Formula One driver Lucas di Grassi and gave invited guests, media and onlookers their first chance to see and hear the cars that will compete in the new FIA Formula E Championship - the world’s first fully-electric racing series beginning in September.

Formula E is a new FIA championship which will compete on 10 city-centre circuits around the globe including two races in the US – Miami and Los Angeles – which take place in the spring of 2015. Ten teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head to create a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fan, whilst accelerating the electric vehicle market and promoting sustainability.

Unveiled in September 2013, the Formula E car has been designed and built by French-based Spark Racing Technology together with a consortium of the leading names in motorsport including Dallara (chassis), Williams (battery design), McLaren (powertrain & electronics), Renault (overall system integration) and Michelin (tyres).

The event was also held in conjunction with the International CES, a global consumer electronics and technology tradeshow, together with Qualcomm Incorporated, one of Formula E’s Founding Partners and the championship’s Technology Partner.

“Today is a very special landmark for the FIA Formula E Championship and I’m delighted to be sharing it with Qualcomm and all our partners,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of series promotes Formula E Holdings. “Since the FIA launched Formula E just over a year ago, the progress and interest in the series has been overwhelming. When we started we had no cities, no teams, no broadcasters and no car. Now we have all these things so to be able to showcase our new car to everyone involved, and of course the fans, is a very proud moment.

“2014 is a very big year for Formula E with the championship starting in September so it’s important to be starting on such a positive note. Today will also be the first of many roadshows we have planned over the coming months as we want as many people as possible to see, and hear, what we believe is the future of motorsport.”

He added: “It’s also great for us to be debuting the car here in the US as this remains a key area for Formula E given we have two teams, two cities, broadcaster FOX Sports, a new investor with Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck and, of course, the US’s ever expanding electric vehicle market.”

“We are excited to show off the new fully-electric FIA Formula E Championship car in action on the Las Vegas Strip,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Chairman and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “Qualcomm is proud to be a Founding Technology Partner of the FIA Formula E Championship and a part of a global movement towards sustainable living."

As part of the event, the Formula E car was also driven along the famous Las Vegas Strip by Lucas di Grassi under police escort, finishing at the world-famous Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino. "Caesars Palace has been passionate about auto sports since its early days when it hosted the Caesars Palace Grand Prix,” said Tariq Shaukat, Caesars Entertainment's Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We are proud to keep at the leading edge of the auto sports industry and technology innovation by partnering as the exclusive casino sponsor with the first-of-its-kind Formula E racing car. This partnership complements our ongoing global environmental efforts and supports the company's focus of leveraging technology to enhance the overall guest experience at our many entertainment destinations worldwide."

It will now be displayed on Qualcomm’s stand (Central Hall, #8252) for the remainder of the CES Show where the leader in mobile space will be showcasing its Qualcomm Halo™ Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) – a revolutionary new technology that will be fitted to the championship’s safety cars.
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